Photo credit: You Don't Know Jack About MS
One of the people affected by lack of information about MS is Jack Osbourne, son of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne. He was diagnosed with the relapsing remitting form of multiple sclerosis back in 2012. Spurred on by the uncertainty caused by his diagnosis, he partnered with Teva to establish a campaign to increase awareness about the disease.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries became Jack's partner.
You don’t know Jack Osbourne
Many people know of Jack Osbourne. He is the son of famous heavy metal musician Ozzy Osbourne, but has found success by walking his own direction in life. It was not without difficulty, however.
Jack claims that he had a pleasant childhood, though he and his family moved frequently. They bounced in and out of Buckinghamshire a couple of times and eventually landed in Beverly Hills.
In school he was diagnosed with dyslexia then ADHD. This did not stop him from interning for Virgin Records while a teenager. He also assisted his mother, Sharon Osbourne, in managing Ozzfest.
During this time, he also battled drugs and alcohol. He recognized he had a problem and entered himself into an adolescent psychiatric ward. That turned into a recovery program, and he reclaimed hold of his life.
He entered the public spotlight in 2002 when he and his entire family had their private life broadcast as part of the MTV series The Osbournes. After that show was over, he continued to partake in acting for television. Among other appearances, he had his own show called Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junky.
His diagnosis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis came in June of 2012. This came as a surprise to many people, partially due to the mistaken belief that MS is a disease which does not affect the young.
Jack did not know anybody else with the disease, so he went online to find out more about MS and to learn from the experiences of other people who have the disease.
He did not find the information he was looking for.
About Teva Pharmaceuticals
Enter Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. They are a multinational pharmaceutical company based out of Petah Tikva, Israel. Translate Teva from Hebrew to English, and you get the word "nature." Sometimes they go by Teva Neuroscience.
Teva has a long history, extending back to the year 1901. Their predecessor of the time was Salomon, Levin, and Elstein Ltd. Camels were the primary method of distribution.
Through merges and acquisitions, Teva formed. They aim to be one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and by now, they have largely succeeded in that role.
A large portion of Teva's focus is on generic medication. Despite this, their best seller is Copaxone, which is the largest selling medicine in the world used to treat multiple sclerosis.
This makes Teva one of the largest corporations to deal with multiple sclerosis. Coupled with their multinational reach, this made them natural partners for Jack when he sought to fix the problems he had found during his diagnosis.
You Don't Know Jack About MS
Information is a good thing to have. Jack Osbourne recognizes this fact.
He decided that there needed to be some sort of central repository of information about multiple sclerosis. Some place where people, whether they are newly diagnosed, veterans of the disease, or just curious bystanders, can go to learn about MS.
That initiative is called You Don't Know Jack About MS. The website and social media used by the campaign cover MS in many ways.
Not one to shy away from the limelight, Jack Osbourne uses the campaign to broadcast his own MS journey to the world. It is not a glory seeking mission. Jack uses the campaign to help others, not himself.
There are many unknowns in the progression of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Jack documents his battles with the disease and shares what he has learned with as wide of a community as he can.
To do this he uses more than text. Sure, there are a lot of blog posts. They cover topics from coping with MS to various health tips, including how music can help him escape from MS! But that's not all.
There are also various webisodes starring Jack. They cover a range of multiple sclerosis related topics and are as entertaining as they are informative.
True to his vision to educate people about MS, there is a large repository of knowledge aimed at those who have been newly diagnosed with the disease. The information in there is not just about MS and its progression, but also covers how to talk to friend and family (including children) about the disease. Myths are uncovered and facts established in their place.
There are also patient resources available to help people better understand MS. There is a one-page fact sheet, a goal tracker, a glossary, and even a discussion guide for how to best learn from your doctor. Links to other organizations are also included, to help people get the support they need.
The You Don't Know Jack About MS campaign has reached millions of people, not just from the website but also through other social media avenues. Last year they started a YouTube channel, and there has been activity on Facebook as well, using their Live feature.
The future of Jack
As you may well know, relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis can potentially lead to progressive multiple sclerosis. Jack Osbourne seems to always have this in his mind, but he does not let it slow him down.
He may not be a professional adrenaline junky on television any more, but he still engages in his motorcycle hobby. He also has an intelligent and pop-loving young daughter, which according to him was at first torturous (being the son of Ozzy Osbourne, after all) but is something he has come to accept.
His wife, Lisa, knows just as much about MS as Jack, if not more so. She has been a large boon in Jack's battle with MS, which has not been an easy fight.
He takes Copaxone every day, alongside vitamin supplements and hormone replacement therapy. Managing his disease extends into his lifestyle, so he has improved his diet, managed his stress, and has improved his exercise regime. Many if not all of those points are discussed on his blog.
He also does not let the disease get in the way of his adventures on TV. He has talked about MS and its effects on Dancing with the Stars and Ozzy & Jack's World Detour.
As for the You Don't Know Jack About MS campaign, they are far from finished with their mission. Both Jack Osbourne and Teva hope to continue with their mission of educating people about MS while remaining relatable.
Jack Osbourne came from a very interesting father. His mark on the world seems to be that of a different sort, however. After seeing a dearth of information on multiple sclerosis, he partnered up with Teva Pharmaceuticals, and together they have forged a path to allow those newly diagnosed with the disease to learn and prepare for what will come ahead.